The half-life of the latest "market supporting" intervention by the Chinese government: just about 12 hours.
The problem of reaching limits in a finite world manifests itself in an unexpected way: slowing wage growth for non-elite workers. Lower wages mean that these workers become less able to afford the output of the system. These problems first lead to commodity oversupply and very low commodity prices. Eventually these problems lead to falling asset prices and widespread debt defaults. These problems are the opposite of what many expect, namely oil shortages and high prices. This strange situation exists because the economy is a networked system. Feedback loops in a networked system don’t necessarily work in the way people expect.
We accurately called the bottom in natural gas prices, we will see how close we are in the oil markets.
Sempra Energy may be entering uncharted regulatory and technical territory with the massive and uncontained Aliso Canyon gas leak, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, as the company and its regulators simply cannot find historical leaks of this magnitude. Sempra’s Southern California Gas Co. is drilling a relief well but has warned that capping the well could take two months which has prompted massive evacuations in the area, the instigation of a no-fly zone, and now Governor Brown's declaration of a state of emergency to protect residents.
Once China set the Yuan fixing some 0.5% lower, the biggest drop since the August devaluation, all hell broke loose and unleashed a global selling panic after China's stock market was promptly shut down less than 30 minutes into trading, then European shares dropped the most in more than 4 months as Asian equities plunges, as did US stock futures, the dollar weakened against the euro and the yen; crude plunged to fresh 12 year lows. Gold rose.
Energy investors got clobbered in 2015, and are hoping for things to turn positive as we head into the New Year. What can we expect in 2016? Here is a rundown of some key trends to watch for...
The South China Sea is continually paraded as a region rich in oil and gas deposits; however, no one really knows what’s there with any degree of accuracy. Furthermore, these possible deposits are shrouded in conflict that will not abate anytime soon, and will most likely worsen with an intensification of the security competition between China and the United States along with its regional allies, which is tightly related to these disputes. So, what deposits do these areas contain?
Rail volumes provides a mixed picture of the US economy at this point: oil & gas and mining-related sectors are taking a real beating, some consumer sectors seem to be holding up and there are signs of weakness in the housing sector. 2016 should witness some type of a resolution here.
Happy New Year Californians - behold the power of monopoly and regulatory capture.
Elections, elections, and more elections is the 'regime change' meme for 2016 but, as Bloomberg details, the key events of the year ahead vary from a California marijuana referendum to Brazil's Olympics, and from Davos to SCOTUS. No matter what, 2016 holds a lot of opportunity for volatility, and without The Fed's safety net, who knows what that means for markets...
- Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)
- Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)
- Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)
- From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)
- Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)
- China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)
It has come down to this: a year in which the US stock market (led by a handful of shares even as the vast majority of stocks has dropped) has gone nowhere, but took the longest and most volatile path to get there, is about to close either red or green for 2015 based on what happens in today's low-volume session following yesterday's unexpected last half hour of trading "air pocket" which brought the S&P back to unchanged for the year.
With just two days left in 2015, the main driver of overnight global stocks and US equity futures remains the most familiar one of all of 2015 - crude oil, which, after its latest torrid bounce yesterday has resumed the familiar "yoyo" mode, and again stumbled dropping below $37 on yesterday's surprising API 2.9 million crude inventory build, as well several more long-term "forecasts" by OPEC members, with Kuwait now budgeting for $30 oil, while Venezuela's Maduro said the oil price fell to $28/bbl and is "headed downward." As a result U.S. futures declined and European stocks fell, extending their worst December drop since 2002 in thin volume on the last full trading day of the year.
"At current prices we estimate that valuations for the oil and gas group reflect an implied Brent crude oil price in the range of $65-70/bbl while natural gas leveraged companies reflect a Henry Hub natural gas price in the range of $3.00/Mcf."
After a Q1 collapse, the Dallas Fed Manufacturing Outlook managed a bounce for a few months (though never got back above zero). It appears, Dallas Fed's aptly-named 'Dick' Fischer was entirely wrong when he progonosticated that "on net, low oil prices are good for Texas." December's Dallas Fed print crashed to -20.1 (from -4.9) massively missing expectations of -7.0 and back at the lows not seen since June 2009.